So I’m sitting here feeling dizzy and tired and too lazy to crawl outside for a baguette. And my finger muscles ache for some typing. I’m avoiding personal blogging, and I just finished a book which I have not had the chance to blow off steam about. Guess what I do.
As (hopefully) the last book in this dratted series–hey! First complete set of series on this blog!–here’s another amazing star removed.
1 star/5 stars
Blurb has been removed because it does no friggin use.
Well that’s awfully informative. Did I mention how relevant this blurb is to the actual text, because hey, we’re all about stalkers and woe-is-me-here’s-another-aspect-of-my-shimmering-beautiful-life-I-have-to-face-oh-no-what-now-poor-little-me-what-should-I-do-I-love-my-boyfriend-but-I-need-other-boys-woah-woah-I-am-such-a-sad-child. I really hoped that the series would discontinue, even though the point of a series is kind of to finish it up, but I highly doubt that it would be a trilogy from the way the story rounded off.
Such a waste of neatly bounded and wrapped glossy covers, such a waste of deliciously smooth creamy paper to run your hands across, such a waste of fresh ink rising from a perfectly respectable font, such a waste of time in venturing out for fantasy.
But hey (confession time)
I was all ready to snarl and rip this book to shreds before I even begun reading.
Like the Snape-faced critic in the recently rewatched Ratatouille movie, negative reviews are “fun to read and write”, and I’ll poke fun at various aspects of the book without personal jibe to the (I’m sure) lovely souls penning down thoughts because everyone wants dimension and beauty to their little baby book girl, don’t they? They want to create the perfect little book character without having her being too morally rigid, want her to be smart without having to mug for it, to be beautiful unconsciously. But so often the protagonist becomes an empty vessel, like an actual author/narrative placing themselves in the different situations and made so brave that we admire them so much, but there are no real traits we can pinpoint them to, can we? A good best friend, successful applicant to Dartmouth, cannot live without her boyfriend, extremely brave and headstrong to venture into situations that would previously have sent her panties into a tizzy.
There is nothing wrong with the characters, if only these traits established to make the protagonist seem all the more perfect, likeable and fabulous didn’t backfire. Because we try to establish this, and in the laziest of attempts settle for several “you’re beautiful”s from the boyfriend (so often smitten at first sight and confesses love after a long period of tension and almost-romances), and in cases of Crossed by Ally Condie even going about declaring how they weren’t pretty and then lamenting over every facial feature they possess rounding it up with “this is me”.
So chalking it down to personality I pretty much draw a blank on what’s-her-name-after-3-books-oh-yes-Vanessa. She is passive at best, whiny at most. Her character flops around, ranging from weak to full-out retarded as she hankers after her past boyfriend, here known as “forward and brave”. She puts herself in dangerous situations completely disregarding the wishes of those who love her, because she knows the best. This would have been fine if there had been at least some reflection of what she had, some sign of planning. Instead Tricia Rayburn ploughs straight through the action because she is simply too lazy to complete the action parts or agonize over representations. I hate how books drag on for an eternity of nerves, boredom and angst. In the last few pages the pace doesn’t pick up but have an utterly boring climax and then fall flatly into a recount of what has happened. It annoyed me to no end because it shows zero effort to reflect on what has actually happened but going “so you know I’m invincible and the world is about me so really nothing is going wrong and I am so special I will be the one person to work out all of this centuries-long mess and I will emerge victorious with my laaaaave and all so yeah bye remember I’m pretty“. That is Vanessa to me.
Everything is about one’s love that is invincible.
But when one’s carelessness leads to freaking deaths it is brushed away because the protagonist is more important.
Characters flit in and out of the story to the convenience of the protagonist.
The protagonist really doesn’t care for anybody.
Her “best friend” is thrown in when the reader needs to be reminded of her close relationships, and her parents when the holds on Vanessa is completely and irrationally lax, decisions by them posing as little obstacles easily dodged. Her boyfriend appears in and out, but conveniently has no fuss about the special conditions that her status as a Siren again throws into the picture as one final desperate plot twist.
I wish the series had never continued.